Inclement weather can decrease traction and visibility for anyone driving a motor vehicle, but commercial truck drivers must be especially careful when navigating these large vehicles through bad weather. While most truck drivers meet this extra level of responsibility without any problems, there are those who fail to account for the effects that poor road conditions can have on their vehicles, sometimes leading to preventable accidents and significant personal losses for other drivers.
If you were involved in a bad weather truck accident in State College recently, you may have many questions about what you should do next and what legal options might be available to you. During a private consultation, a qualified State College truck wreck attorney could discuss the details of your situation, address all your concerns, and set you on course towards successful civil recovery.
Who is Responsible for a Bad Weather Truck Crash?
Truck drivers and their employers can still be held financially liable for damages they cause by failing to adjust their driving behaviors in light of inclement weather. Because of the impact of inclement weather, the police may be less likely to issue citations – even though drivers are required to account for the poor conditions by reducing their speeds. This can make proving negligence even more complicated.
Instead of leaning on traffic citations to show fault, individuals pursuing litigation over bad weather truck accidents in State College may need to factor in other forms of evidence. This could include information from the truck’s Event Data Recorder, footage from nearby surveillance or dashboard cameras, debris from the crash scene, and testimony from eyewitnesses and/or accident reconstruction experts.
With this, a skilled local attorney could show through a “preponderance of the evidence” that a truck driver failed to adjust his or her speed, turn radius, follow distance, or other driving behavior to account for the bad weather, thereby violating his or her duty of care.
Filing Deadlines for 18-Wheeler Accident Claims
Through a successful settlement demand or lawsuit, a truck driver who causes an accident in State College by failing to account for bad weather may bear liability for both economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Medical expenses for past and future care
- Vehicle replacement costs
- Lost wages and/or earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Disability or disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
However, even if an injured party can prove that the truck driver who hit him or her was legally negligent, he or she may not be able to recover any compensation if he or she does not get his or her case started in time.
According to 42 P.S. §5524, a statutory filing deadline of two years applies to all personal injury claims, including those based on commercial truck accidents. If a prospective plaintiff fails to file suit within this deadline, his or her case would likely be time-barred, meaning the court would almost certainly throw it out regardless of its merits.
A State College Attorney Could Help with a Bad Weather Truck Accident Case
Seeking fair recovery for every form of harm a truck crash can cause is challenging under any circumstances. However, claims over bad weather truck accidents in State College can be almost impossible to manage without guidance and support from a dedicated legal professional.